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5 BEST Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese in Alfredo Sauce

Parmesan cheese ran out just as you’re about to whip up that creamy Alfredo sauce, huh? No sweat!

The kitchen’s a place for innovation, and boy, do we have some ace swaps up our sleeve for you.

Cheese lovers, unite! We’re about to dive into a cheesy wonderland where Parmesan is not the only king.

Get ready to give your Alfredo sauce a twist you didn’t know it needed.

Can You Actually Make Alfredo Sauce without Parmesan Cheese?

Alfredo sauce is one of the most beloved Italian dishes, popular for its creamy and delicious flavor.

Though traditionally made using parmesan cheese, there are actually several ways to make a tasty Alfredo with alternatives like vegan cheese or nutritional yeast.

Not only are these ingredients cheaper, but they provide a unique flavor profile that may surprise even the harshest critics of non-traditional Italian dishes.

For those who desire an intensely flavored Alfredo sauce from Parmesan, simply add gruyere for a rich burst of flavor on the tongue and creaminess in every bite.

Furthermore, experimenting with adding garlic and onion powder can add complexity to Alfredo sauce without the added calories from typical Parmesan cheese options.

Those looking for a lighter yet flavorful iteration will love adding seasonal vegetables like asparagus or artichoke that give both texture and flavor to your dish.

Lastly, don’t forget about fun garnishes like parsley or freshly ground black pepper that bring out all the amazing flavors of your homemade Alfredo sauce.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese in Alfredo Sauce

For those who are vegan or lactose intolerant, finding the perfect substitute for Parmesan cheese in Alfredo sauce can be tricky.

Traditional Alfredo recipes call for generous amounts of salty Italian cheese, but luckily there are some great alternatives that taste just as delicious.

Here are five of the best substitutes for Parmesan cheese in Alfredo sauce:

1 – Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese is a type of Swiss cheese that has a unique and distinct flavor.

The cheese originates from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, specifically from the mountain caves located in the Gruyeres region of Switzerland.

It has a semi-hard texture, a complex butterscotch flavor profile, and a creamy yellow color.

Its distinct nutty flavor makes it the perfect accompaniment to sandwiches, salads, pasta, omelet, and quiches.

When making alfredo sauces, Gruyere cheese can also be used as a substitute for parmesan cheese as its rich flavor really shines through.

To do this, just melt it over low heat before stirring it into your sauce.

With its distinct nutty taste and versatility when paired with other dishes, Gruyere cheese is an excellent addition to any meal.

2 – Piave Cheese

Piave, a hard Italian cow’s milk cheese, is a flavorful variety perfect for grating.

It originates in the Italian Alps, where it has been made since the 19th century.

Piave has an intense flavor with earthy notes and sweet floral overtones.

It also packs a pleasantly crunchy texture from its large salt crystals.

The flavor of Piave is best described as grassy and nutty, so if you cannot find or do not like Parmesan for your Alfredo sauce, why not try substituting it with some Piave cheese? As one of the alternatives to Parmesan, it delivers nutty, savory flavors that make for a unique twist on classic pasta dishes.

3 – Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese has been around for centuries, originating in the hills of northern Italy.

This semi-hard delight is often made from cow’s milk or a combination of cow’s and sheep’s milk.

The result is a piquant taste unique to this variety of hard cheese.

Its flavor palette includes grassy, nutty, and creamy notes, while its texture can range from crumbly to smooth depending on its age; older Asiago has a smooth, spreadable consistency, while younger varieties are firmer with more body.

You can easily substitute Asiago into any dishes calling for Parmesan, such as Alfredo sauce or macaroni and cheese – try grating it over pasta for a burst of flavor.

4 – Pecorino Romano Cheese

Pecorino Romano is a hard Italian cheese with an incredible history.

Rumored to originate in Rome thousands of years ago, Pecorino is now widely known as a traditional Italian cheese with a sharp and slightly salty flavor.

It’s made primarily from sheep’s milk and aged for a minimum of five to eight months in order to get its typically strong, robust flavor.

Due to its particular texture – firm and grainy minimal crumbling at cutting –it works perfectly, adding texture to salads or dishes which require a longer cooking time where it won’t completely dissolve.

Pecorino goes especially well with alfredo sauce substituting Parmesan; the flavor is more intense but still light enough not to overpower the dish.

5 – Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella cheese is a staple in Italian cuisine, sourced from the milk of cows and water buffalos.

Originating in Naples centuries ago, this cheese quickly became popular throughout Italy and eventually across the rest of Europe and America.

Its soft, elastic texture has a slight stringiness that easily melts when heated, making it ideal for dishes like pizza and lasagna.

The flavor of mozzarella is relatively mild but becomes remarkably creamy when melted.

For those looking to switch up their alfredo sauce, mozzarella makes an excellent substitute for Parmesan — simply grate some over your sauce just before serving for added creaminess and richness.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese in Alfredo Sauce

Don't have Parmesan cheese on hand for your Alfredo sauce? Try these five substitutes that bring a similar nutty, salty flavor to your dish, ensuring it's just as delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Gruyere Cheese
  • Piave Cheese
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese in Alfredo Sauce
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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